The Stroop test as a measure of performance validity in adults clinically referred for neuropsychological assessment

Laszlo A Erdodi, Sanya Sagar, Kristian Seke, Brandon G Zuccato, Eben S Schwartz, Robert M Roth
Psychological Assessment 2018, 30 (6): 755-766
This study was designed to develop performance validity indicators embedded within the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function Systems (D-KEFS) version of the Stroop task. Archival data from a mixed clinical sample of 132 patients (50% male; MAge = 43.4; MEducation = 14.1) clinically referred for neuropsychological assessment were analyzed. Criterion measures included the Warrington Recognition Memory Test-Words and 2 composites based on several independent validity indicators. An age-corrected scaled score ≤6 on any of the 4 trials reliably differentiated psychometrically defined credible and noncredible response sets with high specificity (.87-.94) and variable sensitivity (.34-.71). An inverted Stroop effect was less sensitive (.14-.29), but comparably specific (.85-90) to invalid performance. Aggregating the newly developed D-KEFS Stroop validity indicators further improved classification accuracy. Failing the validity cutoffs was unrelated to self-reported depression or anxiety. However, it was associated with elevated somatic symptom report. In addition to processing speed and executive function, the D-KEFS version of the Stroop task can function as a measure of performance validity. A multivariate approach to performance validity assessment is generally superior to univariate models. (PsycINFO Database Record

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